Container freight: shipping economics?

This data-file models the total costs of shipping a container c10,000 nautical miles from China to the West.

Specifically, we calculate what freight rate is required to earn a 10% IRR on constructing a new 20,000 TEU container ship, based on the capital costs, fuel costs and other operating costs.

New emerging fuels can lower the CO2 intensity of shipping from their baseline of 0.15kg/TEU-mile by 60-90%, however this may come at the cost of re-inflating freight costs by 30%-3x.

Economics can be stress-tested in the data-file, varying vessel size, route length, fuel economy, utilization and other cost lines.

Distribution Costs: Ships, Trucks, Trains and Delivery Vans?

This data-file breaks down the financial and carbon costs associated with a typical US consumer’s purchasing habits. It covers container-ships, trucks, rail freight, cars and last-mile delivery vans; based on the ton-miles associated with each vehicle and its fuel economy.

We estimate the distribution chain for the typical US consumer costs 1.5bbls of fuel, 600kg of CO2 and $1,000 per annum.

The costs will increase 20-40% in the next decade, as the share of online retail doubles to c20%. New technologies are needed in last-mile delivery, such as drones.

Please download the model to for a full breakdown of the data, and its sensitivity to oil prices, consumption patterns, international trade and exciting new delivery technologies.

Container ships versus trucks and trains

This data-file tabulates c10 examples for the fuel economy of container vessels, which is a function of their size and speed.

The most efficient container ships are 2x more efficient than typical trains and 20x more efficient than typical trucks.

We calculate that moving goods from overseas to the developed world’s c1bn consumers accounts for c0.5% of global CO2 emissions (c50% in ships, c50% in trucks). These calculations are also shown in the data-file.

Long-Term LNG Demand: technology-led?

This is a simple model of long-term LNG demand, extrapolating out sensible estimates in the world’s leading LNG-consuming regions. On top of this, we overlay the upside from two nascent technology areas, which could add 200MTpa of potential upside to the market. Backup workings are included.

A Short History of Travel Speeds

This is our database of global travel speeds throughout history. It contains notes on the top travel-speeds attainable by different forms of transportation; plus more granular data on the average travel speeds in Britain since the 1970s.

Top travel speeds have increased by c100x since pre-industrial times, however in the past 20-years, the trend has reversed and begun slowing down. Average travel speeds are down c6-7% since 2000, connoting lower mobility.


Our Top Technologies for IMO 2020

So far we have reviewed 450 patents in the downstream oil and gas industry (ex-chemicals). A rare few prompted an excited thought — “that could be useful when IMO 2020 comes around”.  Hence, this data-file summarises the top 25+ proprietary technologies we have seen to capitalise on the opportunity. They are summarised and “scored” by company.

We will also provide you with updates of this file, as we continue reviewing patents and technical papers.

Small-Scale LNG liquefaction Costs: New Opportunities?

Cutting-edge LNG technologies can deliver 15% pre-tax IRRs, taking in $3/mcf gas and selling $10/mcf LNG: even after scaling down to nano-sized 4kTpa units. This data-file shows our workings, across six tabs.

The model tabulates our best-estimates into the costs of typical small-scale LNG projects (SMR and Nitrogen Expansion, below).

We also present and contrast a novel small-scale LNG technology, Galileo’s Cryobox, including economic sensitivities (below).

LNG in transport: scaling up by scaling down?

Next-generation technology in small-scale LNG has potential to reshape the global shipping-fuels industry. Especially after IMO 2020 sulphur regulations, LNG should compete with diesel. This note outlines the technologies, economics and opportunities for LNG as a transport fuel.

LNG as a Shipping Fuel: the Economics

This model provides line-by-line cost estimates for LNG as a shipping fuel, compared against diesel. We used industry data and academic studies to estimate the all-in costs for (a) trucking LNG (b) small-scale LNG and (c) LNG bunkering, to supply a relatively fuel-intensive shipping route.

After IMO 2020 regulations buoy diesel pricing, it should be economical to fuel newbuild ships with small-scale LNG; and in the US it should be economical to convert pre-existing ships to run on small-scale LNG.

Global shipping and the switch from fuel oil?

The 240MTpa shipping-fuels market will be disrupted from 2020, under IMO sulphur regulations. Hence, this data-file breaks down the world’s 100,000-vessel shipping fleet into 13 distinct categories. Fuel consumption is estimated for each category. Distributions of weight and LNG fuel-equivalence are split for the four largest categories. We see 40-60MTpa upside to LNG demand from 2040, led by cruise-ships and large container-ships.

The data-file also includes helpful background on the marine fuels industry and consensus forecasts for LNG demand growth within it (below).

Copyright: Thunder Said Energy, 2022.